CSPN's 3rd Annual Women In Leadership Awards Gala

October 16, 2019 | Old Mill, Toronto


Past Testimonials

About the Speakers


Keynote Speaker: Takara Small

Decodifying Leadership

Listen to Takara and her story as she takes you on a journey of leadership and technology and how she made it to where she is today.

Takara Small is an award-winning entrepreneur, journalist and public speaker.

She currently appears on Metro Morning (Toronto’s top-rated morning radio show) as a technology columnist as well as an on-air tech expert for CBC and CTV. She was previously the host/producer for the Globe and Mail startup podcast ‘I’ll Go First’ (the number one technology podcast in Canada) and contributing editor for Fortune magazine. Over the years her work has been featured in numerous outlets, which include the BBC, Toronto Star, Refinery29, Flare magazine, Mic, Refinery29 and more.

She is also the founder and executive director of VentureKids Canada, a nonprofit that provides free coding classes and startup workshops to youth living in low-income and underserved communities in Ontario. In the summer of 2019 VentureKids will launch the nonprofit’s first rural-city partnership with Northeastern University Toronto that will bring students from small towns in eastern Ontario to Toronto where they’ll visit top technology companies, like Microsoft Canada, and take part in hands-on computer programming lessons.

Meanwhile as a sought-after public speaker, she’s often invited to share her thoughts about entrepreneurship and technology with global audiences at events, like Deloitte’s DisruptionByDesign summit, Collision conference, Elevate, CIX and Social Media Week. Meanwhile as the founder and executive director of VentureKids Canada, (an award-winning nonprofit startup that helps youth from underserved communities).

Recent accolades:

  • L’Oreal Canada: One of Canada’s top 5 women-led startups (2019)
  • Adweek Magazine: One of Toronto’s top 30 stars turning Toronto into a global leader (2019)
  • BAIE: Black startup entrepreneur (2019)


Panelist: Charley Butler

Managing Director, Member Experience & Innovation Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan

Charley is a transformational leader with a passion for building and working with high performing teams.  She has nearly two decades experience in leading contact centres, managing transformational change programmes and driving innovation in customer experiences.

At the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Charley is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to members including the contact centre operations, member communications and digital experience functions.


Panelist: Lawrence Levinson

Director, Customer Experience, Bureau Veritas

Lawrence is people-first, customer-centric and metric-oriented with 20 years of multinational B2B/B2C leadership experience in the environmental, O&G, mining and agri-food industries. Coming from a background of a B.A. in Psychology and a B.Sc. in Biology, Lawrence started his career with Mars Petcare’s Royal Canin Group. After completing a M.A.Sc. in Applied Science & Management, Lawrence joined the Bureau Veritas Laboratories team in 2009. He has driven growth through financial performance in Business & Strategic Development, Customer Experience, Sales, Loyalty, Marketing and Service, and has published articles in peer-reviewed publications.

Lawrence currently serves as the outgoing President & Chair of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB), where since 2016 he has supported the provincial regulator responsible for protecting the public by setting standards for qualifications, conduct, and continuing competency for the practice of biology. He is also a passionate board committee member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA) and Customer Service Professionals Network (CSPN).


Panelist: Kellee Irwin

Vice President,  Orion Travel Insurance

Kellee Irwin, Vice-President, Orion Travel Insurance, is a leader whose passion is creating success for both businesses and people. With more than 25 years of experience in insurance and reinsurance in private, public, and government sectors¾including 15 years in executive leadership¾she has led a wide range of teams who have developed groundbreaking products that impressed customers and industry leaders alike. She has been recognized for implementing transformational projects such as policy administration systems, a CRM system, and a rating engine at high profile companies including CAA Club Group, Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC); Allianz Insurance. Kellee also led the transition to risk-based pricing at ICBC and the development and growth of Grey Power into a national brand.

Her passion to cultivate success in people extends outside of the business too. For the past 16 years, she has been part of the mentorship community, being a formal and informal mentor to more than 18 mentees. She also volunteers on the board of several organizations. An avid motorcycle rider who has travelled the world by motorcycle, she is a former Board Member, Ontario Federation of Trail Riders; Immediate Past Chair, Motorcyclists Confederation of Canada; and Past Chair and Board Member, Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame. She has also held other volunteer, board and chair positions with Women in Insurance Crusade Against Cancer and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

Kellee has a Bachelors of Business Management degree from Ryerson Polytechnical University and is a Fellow Chartered Insurance Professional and Canadian Risk Manager. Kellee was the first Canadian to receive the honour of “Notable Achiever” at the Women in Insurance Leadership Awards.


Panelist: Dimitra Maniatis

Senior Director, Solution Consulting, ServiceNow Canada

Dimitra Maniatis is a passionate and action-oriented leader who thrives on building and leading high-performing teams.  Her disarming nature allows her to connect with people at various levels within an organization and open lines of communication and collaboration.  Dimitra is the Sr. Director of Solution Consulting for ServiceNow Canada, a company that is routed in making the world of work, work better for people.  ServiceNow transforms old, manual ways of working into digital workflows, so employees and customers get what they need, when they need it – fast, simple and easy.  Dimitra and her team provide strategic, technical, pre-sales support and consulting to customers who are exploring digital transformation initiatives within their organizations.  They help some of the largest organizations in Canada ensure that both their customers and employees are having the best and most seamless experiences possible.

Prior to entering the software industry 6 years ago, Dimitra spent over 12 years in the Market Research Industry where she provided high-level strategic advice to her clients around product development, marketing and advertising initiatives, as well as customer and employee growth and retention programs.  She was also on the Board of the Retail Advertising & Marketing Council of Canada and was Chair of the Research Committee during her time with the organization. She has a Bachelor of Commerce – Management and Enterprise Development Degree from Ryerson University and an International Business Administration Diploma from Seneca College.

3rd Annual
Women In Leadership

We were excited to host our 3rd Annual Women in Leadership networking and awards evening in Toronto on October 16. This was a remarkable event which included a luxurious evening full of engaging panelists and a motivational keynote speaker. This year, we had over 300 women and men in attendance and we celebrated the evening away recognizing women leaders and listening to their stories.

We had an elegant cocktail reception, a four-course dinner, entertainment, and not to mention a photobooth!

Thank you for joining us this year and we look forward to seeing everyone next year!

2019 Registration Open

CSPN Member:
Register by Early Bird Deadline and Save 5%
Register by Early Bird Deadline and Save 5%
CSPN Member Table of 10:
Register by Early Bird Deadline and Save 5%
Non-Member Table of 10:
Register by Early Bird Deadline and Save 5%

Send completed forms to info@mycspn.com

For early bird registrations, take off an extra 5% off the regular rate. Early Bird Rates expire August 16, 2019. For discounted group rates or membership, please contact us. All prices are in CAD, plus applicable taxes.

Accepting 2019 Nominations
Deadline September 13, 2019

We are celebrating tenacious, impactful, and successful women who work hard everyday to strengthen their brand, their community, and advance the customer experience industry for our 3rd Annual in October. We want to help you give thanks to the women you know who are decision makers, service advocates, leaders, and mentors. Give them a round of applause and let us all appreciate what they do by nominating someone you know today!

Nomination or Award Questions?

Is there a fee to nominate?

No.  There is no fee to nominate.

Can we nominate ourselves?

Yes, you can nominate yourself, a colleague, or someone you know in other organizations.

How can I nominate a woman leader?

Nominations are now being accepted using our online nomination form.

What is the nomination deadline?

All completed nomination packages must be sent to info@mycspn.com no later than September 13, 2019.

Who can be nominated?

Please refer to the guidelines and descriptions for each award category.  View the categories.

How many award categories may I select?

You may nominate as many award categories as you see best represents the nominee. The judges will make the final selection based on the criterias of all the nominees.

Who selects the award winners?

Submissions are reviewed by a panel of judges comprising of leading industry experts in customer service and women in leadership.

When will the winners be announced?

Winners are announced on October 16, 2019 at the event.

What is the dress code for the event?

Business dress or cocktail attire.

Can I bring a table of 8 or 10?

Yes!  If you are bringing a team, please contact CSPN at 905-477-5544 for discounted table rates.

Do award winners receive a certificate or trophy?

Winners will receive a beautiful CSPN trophy.

Will nominees be contacted?

Nominees will be notified by CSPN of their nominations.  All nominees are encouraged to attend the event.

Do nominees need to register?

Yes, nominees can register along with their colleagues and team.  Make this event a memorable team event!

Do I have to be a member to participate in events?

You don’t have to be a member to participate; however, you will not receive member discounts and other member benefits.

Cancellation Policy

CSPN understands that schedules can change and despite a registrant’s best intentions they may not be able to attend an event. If a registrant is unable to attend the event an alternate delegate from the registrant’s company is welcome to attend in their place. If a substitute cannot be found, CSPN will accept cancellations and issue refunds under the following conditions:

Cancellation Deadlines

No later than 10 business days prior to the date of the event.


If CSPN cancels an event for any reason, all registration fees will be fully refunded. Registration fees will be fully refunded minus administrative fees ($100) if the registrant cancels more than 10 business days prior to the date of the event. No refunds will be provided if the registrant cancels after the cancellation deadline or is a “no-show” at the event. Refunds will not be issued to registration cancellations made after the cancellation deadline (less than 10 business days prior to the date of the event) or if a registrant is a ‘no-show’ at the event. If the registrant cancels within 10 business days of event, the registrant may choose to either:

  • Have a substitute registrant attend
  • Apply the full registration amount as a credit towards the registration for a different event offered by CSPN within 12 months from the date of the original event.?

Note: CSPN has the right to cancel, change or reschedule its event and/or venues due to unforeseen circumstances. If a cancellation occurs, CSPN will refund all payments that have been made for that event.

Can we nominate ourselves or individuals again?

You certainly can! There are no restrictions on the number of times you nominate an individual, even if they won previously.

Hall of Fame

Award Categories

This person is all about the customer. Her number one priority is making sure the customer is actively engaged with the company and that her team(s) is providing an excellent experience throughout the entire customer journey. She has had tremendous impact on improving her team(s)’ capabilities and improving customer engagement. She supports her team(s) in any way she can and encourages them to become more customer-centric on a daily basis.

This is someone in a managerial/leadership position with direct customer engagement responsibilities.

Nominate a person who helps others love their job, remain engaged, and encourages them to give their 100% effort. She is likely someone who welcomes ideas and suggestions from her team, encouraging them to remain active in their work and feel like they add value to the organization through their efforts. Her team looks forward to coming to work and she helps increase their motivation. She wants her team to use their capabilities, realize their potential and grow. This person could also be one who thinks of new ways to engage employees, creating a plan and implementation strategy to help them do so. She could also be the one to take out her team for appreciation dinners or give her colleagues and team gifts for their hard-work.

This award honours a leader who has successfully implemented technology solutions that made a notable impact on business. She works in a position that has offered opportunities to utilize her leadership skills to leverage technology or works for a technology company where she accelerates at leadership and innovation and has worked on projects that required technical knowledge.

This leader loves to help others advance in their careers, give advice based on personal experiences, and guide others. She has provided mentorship for many women and men within the industry and helped them navigate their way and surpass their struggles. She also drank a lot of coffee while having meaningful chats with individuals impressed by her journey and success.

This is typically someone within and outside the organization admires and aspires to learn from, and who genuinely supports the professional development of others.

This award recognizes a woman who is respected and noted as an outstanding leader committed to excellence. She is a leader who promotes positive change in the community and workplace, and a professional business woman who creates and opens opportunities.

This award recognizes a woman that has the passion and innovation to start up a business/organization in the corporate world, creating new approaches and solutions, and filling a need to break into the market. This nominees drive, sacrifices, and risks have differentiated her from the pack and led her to success and making a difference. She may be a founder, owner, leader or innovator.

This award honours high potential leaders who are taking strides to further themselves personally and professionally by showing initiative, determination and commitment.

Submit the details of a person who is inspiring, hardworking, and a strong leader with high ambitions and futuristic vision. The team has high regards for this individual and for her/his work, they appreciate her/his management style and look for her/his input. S/he is someone who has high potential in becoming something great and you trust that s/he will get there one day. You believe in her/his capabilities as an emerging leader and amazed by her/his work ethic, impact and efforts.

The award will be presented to the candidate who has demonstrated growth, a commitment to career development and an ability to take leadership roles and overcome obstacles during the past 12 months.

Individual must be 35 years and under. 2 nominations per organization. Nominees will not be judged and will be recognized at the event.

A person who is constantly supporting organizational change activities, is futuristic, and propels others to change and reach company goals. This individual is a leader and advocate of change within your company/team. She provides leadership, coaching and guidance to her team to help ease transitions and increase the rates of adoption for change. She communicates effectively in letting others understand and envision the impact and need for change.

This leader has set a clear vision for change and engages employees to work collaboratively and inclusively with team members to create the change and influence positive outcomes.

She can explain the purpose of the change and connect the change to the organization’s values and strategic plan.

This leader works tirelessly to remove obstacles, demonstrating commitment and perseverance.

This award recognizes a passionate, inclusive, and welcoming leader whose efforts to promote and raise awareness about diversity and inclusion have had a tangible, positive impact within her organization and/or the community. Her passion and commitment to diversity and inclusion is contagious; she is a role model who inspires action in others. This category recognizes a person who not only lives and breathes diversity and inclusion in her own daily actions, she fosters an environment within which others around her also embrace it.

This award honours a leader who has dedicated their career to exceptional leadership, service and has a passion for customer excellence over a significant period. Through both their actions and contributions, they have made noteworthy and outstanding contributions to the field of customer experience and have had a career of empowering employees through professional development. This person has consistently exemplified and demonstrated the core values of helping employees be great at what they do.

As well, they have been a known industry pioneer of the customer service experience, sales, management, leadership and personal excellence areas.

The CX Advocate recognizes an individual (male or female) who has demonstrated leadership in initiating CX Strategy within their organization. An individual who leads, directs, foster’s change and sustains a customer-centric culture.

This award recognizes someone who:

  • Is a true customer Champion.
  • Thrives in a team environment.
  • Can influence their belief system of their peers and/or subordinates.
  • Can respectfully challenge and provide feedback to leadership.
  • Has a strong internal network and can work across organizational lines.

2 nominations per organization. Nominees will not be judged and will be recognized at the event.

Old Mill Toronto
Old Mill Brule Ballroom

About the Venue
Old Mill, Toronto

21 Old Mill Rd, Etobicoke, ON M8X 1G5

The exclusive Old Mill Toronto hotel offers 57 beautifully appointed and individually unique, luxury hotel guest rooms and suites. Nestled in the beautiful Humber Valley and adjacent to the Parkland and Toronto Bike & Walking Trail System, it is an ideal location that complements many corporate events and retreats.

Complimentary Parking Available

Tel: 1-866-653-6455 and ask for Room Reservations Reference CSPN for preferred rate

Why Attend in 2019?

Cultivate New Customers & Grow Your Business
Winning future market share will require building lasting relationships with your customers through multiple channels, both digital and traditional. Identify the features, preferences and strategies for omni-channel success.
Transform Your Culture & Become Customer-Centric
Shifting your organization to become more customer-centric requires complete organizational buy-in. Whatever your size, ensure a customer first organizational culture to maximize your digital and traditional customer experiences.
Engage In Thought Leadership With CX & EX Professionals
This two-day event is exclusively designed for executive CX & EX practitioners. Acquire actionable insights to tackle your biggest digital and traditional customer experience challenges top industry professionals.

Our Sponsors

Service Now
Contact Center Plus

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